A Detailed Guide on How to Grow Your Savings 

Prison Professors Masterclass Digital Economy: Lesson 12: Binance BNB

Start small, stay disciplined, and watch your savings grow over time. #FinancialLiteracy #Savings #PrisonProfessors #FinancialWellbeing #EmergencyFund #RetirementPlanning #Investing

Lesson 32: A Detailed Guide on How to Grow Your Savings

Lesson Intro:

The world’s largest crypto exchange, Binance, entered into a collaboration agreement with our nonprofit, the Prison Professors Charitable Corporation. With this collaboration, we’re able to provide justice-impacted people with a great resource they can use to learn about cryptocurrency, decentralized finance (DeFi), Web3.0, Artificial Intelligence, and other topics that relate to the digital economy. The agreement is part of our nonprofit’s ongoing efforts to help people prepare for success after prison.

Some people have access to our videos, others do not. If a staff member in your prison will authorize videos, invite them to contact Prison Professors for information on how we can send DVDs with additional educational materials to help people learn–and potentially an in-person presentation in your facility.

Each lesson includes critical thinking questions and a glossary. We encourage participants to use these lessons, and to memorialize their learning path by building a profile on Prison Professors Talent. More information on how to build a personal profile at the end of this workbook.

32. A Detailed Guide on How to Grow Your Savings


  • Savings refers to the portion of income that is not spent on immediate expenses and is set aside for future use. 
  • Saving is an essential habit that helps secure your financial future, enables you to achieve your goals, provides security against unforeseen circumstances, and promotes financial discipline.
  • Some simple-but-effective saving strategies include creating a budget, setting up automatic savings, and lowering your expenses while increasing your income. 
  • You can consider placing some of your savings in cryptocurrencies as part of a diversified portfolio considering that some leading coins have exhibited spectacular returns. But you should be cautious and be aware of the risks associated with doing so. 

What Are Savings? 

In personal finance, savings refers to the portion of income that isn’t spent on immediate expenses and is set aside for future use. 

This money can be kept in various forms such as cash, a savings account, or invested in financial instruments like stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, and cryptocurrencies. The goal of saving is to preserve and grow wealth over time for future financial goals, emergencies, or retirement.

Why Are Savings Important? 

Savings play a crucial role in personal finance, your overall financial well-being and security. It’s an essential habit that helps secure your financial future, provides security against unforeseen circumstances, and promotes financial discipline.

Its importance can be understood in the following ways:

  1. Emergency cushion
    • Savings can provide a financial safety net in the event of unexpected expenses such as medical emergencies or sudden loss of income. Having this cushion allows you to cover costs without resorting to high-interest debt options like credit cards or loans.
  2.  Financial independence
    • Regular saving can lead to financial independence over time. It provides the freedom to make significant life decisions such as changing careers, going back to school, or even retiring early without financial stress. You can also reach your personal financial goals, whether it’s buying a home, starting a business, funding a child’s education, or planning a dream vacation.
  3. Retirement planning
    • Regular income may cease during retirement, so it is important for individuals to accumulate sufficient savings to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. The earlier you start saving for retirement, the more time your money has to grow.
  4. Encourages discipline
    • The practice of regular saving encourages financial discipline and money management skills. It prompts budgeting and prioritizing essential expenses, thereby promoting healthy financial habits.

Effective Strategies for Growing Your Savings 

Savings strategies refer to the plans and techniques that help individuals set aside a part of their income for future use.

Here are some popular savings strategies:

  1. Creating a budget
    • A budget provides a clear view of your income and expenses. It helps you identify where your money is going, and where you can cut back. The money saved from cutting back on non-essential expenses can then be directed toward savings. 
    • You can begin this process by tracking every dollar you earn, and spend, for a few months. Understand your “needs” like rent, utilities, and groceries versus “wants” like eating out and entertainment. A spreadsheet is sufficient, but there are many apps that can link your bank account and categories spending automatically for you. 
    • Consider the 50/30/20 rule as a baseline for budgeting: 50% of your income goes towards needs, 30% towards wants, and 20% towards savings. Of course, you can adjust this ratio by allocating less toward wants and more towards saving to grow your savings faster.
  2. Setting specific financial goals
    • Your saving goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, instead of saying, “I want to save for a house,” you should plan for something like “I want to save $50,000 for a down payment on a house in five years.”
    • Divide your goals into short-term (less than a year), mid-term (1-5 years), and long-term (more than five years) categories. This division can help you identify how much you need to save and how to best save or invest for each goal.
  3. Building an emergency fund
    • Before you start saving for other goals, prioritize creating an emergency fund. The common advice is to save 3 to 6 months of living expenses, but the right amount depends on your personal circumstances. If you have an unstable income or dependents, you might want to save more.
    • Keep this fund in a liquid and easily accessible form, like a regular savings account, even though the returns are low. The primary purpose of this fund is not growth but accessibility in case of an emergency.
  4. Automatic savings
    • The easiest way to save is to make it automatic. You can set up automatic transfers to your savings account on your payday. There are apps that round up your purchases to the nearest dollar and automatically deposit the difference into a savings account, and many investment platforms allow you to set up automatic contributions.
  5. Increasing your income and lowering your expenses 
    • You can enhance your savings potential by reducing expenses, such as curtailing discretionary spending and minimizing non-essential, recurring costs. Alternatively, consider increasing your income. This might involve initiating a side hustle or establishing multiple streams of passive income. 

How Does Inflation Impact Your Savings?

Inflationerodes the purchasing power of money over time, meaning your saved dollars today might not buy as much in the future. This is particularly true when inflation is high. Here are some things to consider for your savings during times of high inflation:

  1. Pay attention to the real rate of return
    • The real rate of return is the rate of return on your investments after adjusting for inflation. For instance, if your savings account provides a 2% return but inflation is 3%, you’re actually losing purchasing power. Look for investments that can provide a higher real rate of return.
  2. Consider inflation-protected assets
    • Consider investing in financial instruments that offer protection against inflation. In the US, for example, Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) are government bonds that adjust with inflation, ensuring that your investment keeps pace with the cost of living.
  3. Diversify your savings portfolio
    • You can diversify your savings portfolioto lower overall volatility and provide better stability. Over the long term, some assets such as real estate, stocks, gold and Bitcoin have traditionally been a good hedge against inflation. 
  4. Increase the yield of your savings
    • You can consider putting your savings into assets that can offer a high yield that offset inflation. It could be a high-yield savings account, highly liquid high-quality government debt, and certificates of deposit. If you do lock up your savings for longer (months or years), ensure it doesn’t impact your daily expenses or emergency funding needs. 
    • Remember, everyone’s financial situation is different, so what works best for you will depend on your personal circumstances. If you’re unsure about how to adjust your savings strategy in response to high inflation, it might be a good idea to speak with a financial advisor.

Should You Put Your Savings in Crypto? 

Cryptocurrencies can be a part of your savings strategy because they have shown impressive historical performance despite their extreme volatility. The leading coins, bitcoin (BTC) and ethereum (ETH) in particular, have both exhibited spectacular returns since their inception. 

If you invested $100 in bitcoin in July 2010, when the price was around $0.06, it would be worth around $50 million as of mid-2023. If you had invested $100 in ether during its initial coin offering (ICO) in 2014 at $0.31 per coin, your portfolio would be worth around $580,644 in total as of mid-2023. 

While past performance isn’t indicative of future results, you can consider investing in cryptocurrencies if you can tolerate the risks and volatility. Before starting, take the time to understand what cryptocurrency is, how it works, its potential uses, and the risks involved. 

You can then start with a small investment that you’d be comfortable losing. As you gain more experience and knowledge, you can adjust your investment accordingly. Similar to traditional saving methods, you can set up a system where you regularly buy a certain amount of bitcoin or ether, for example. 

Of course, as with any investment, don’t put all your money in one type of cryptocurrency. You can diversify your cryptocurrency portfolio by spreading your allocations to various coins.

Lastly, always choose reliable and secure platforms to buy and trade your cryptocurrency. Look for platforms that offer strong security measures, long-term track records, withdrawal whitelists, and good customer support.  

Remember, while cryptocurrencies have the potential for high returns, they also come with high risks, including complete loss of investment. Make sure you fully understand these risks before you start investing in cryptocurrencies. Always invest wisely and only invest what you can afford to lose.

Closing Thoughts 

Personal savings constitute an essential aspect of your financial well-being. Saving enables you to be prepared for unexpected expenses, accomplish financial goals, and achieve financial independence. The importance of cultivating a consistent saving habit cannot be overstated.

In today’s ever-evolving financial landscape, there are myriad strategies available to help you maximize your savings. Traditional methods, such as creating a budget or setting up automatic transfers to your savings account, remain effective. However, it’s also worth considering more contemporary options like investing in cryptocurrencies as part of a diversified portfolio.

Nonetheless, the best saving strategy is the one that aligns with your financial circumstances and goals. If inflation is high, you may need to take additional steps to protect your savings, such as investing in assets that tend to perform well during inflationary periods.

Remember, every bit you save counts. Even small, regular amounts can accumulate into significant savings over time thanks to the power of compounding. And while it’s crucial to save for future needs, it’s equally important to have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

Further Reading

Should You Include Crypto In Your Retirement Plan?

How to Protect and Pass On Your Crypto After Death

What to Consider When Building an Investment Portfolio

Critical Thinking Questions

  1. How can developing a habit of saving money contribute to achieving long-term financial independence, and what are some specific steps you can take to build this habit?
  2. Considering the potential risks and rewards, what factors should you evaluate before deciding to invest in cryptocurrencies as part of your savings strategy?
  3. In what ways can creating and sticking to a budget help you manage your finances more effectively, and how might this practice influence your future financial goals?
  4. How does inflation impact the real value of your savings over time, and what strategies can you employ to protect your savings against inflation?
  5. What are the benefits of diversifying your investment portfolio, and how can diversification help mitigate financial risks in uncertain economic times?

Advocacy Initiative:

We encourage participants to begin memorializing the ways they are using time in prison to prepare for success upon release. I encourage participants to create a personal profile by:

  1. Writing a simple biography
  2. Writing a daily journal to show all that you’re learning
  3. Writing book reports that memorialize the books you read
  4. Writing a release plan to show the ways you’re preparing for success upon release

These strategies helped me immensely once I got out. By using my time wisely inside, I was able to raise capital, build businesses, and succeed in ways that few people would think are possible for someone who served multiple decades in prison. Anyone can do the same—if they prepare first.

If you’d like to follow in the same footsteps, I encourage you to begin building your personal profile. Get started by sending an email message to our team at:

Prison Professors Talent
[email protected]
32565 Golden Lantern, B-1026
Dana Point, CA 92629

Our interns will accept your email invite. You may then send the interns a message such as:

Dear Interns,  

My name is xxx, and I am in prison. I would like to begin showing the strategies I am using to prepare for success upon release. Please send me a Release Plan Workbook, and any other books that will help me prepare for the job market. After receiving those workbooks, I will begin building my profile to show others how I am using my time inside to prepare for success outside.  

[Your Name]


  • Algorithm (noun): A step-by-step procedure or formula for solving a problem or performing a task.
  • Bitcoin (noun): A decentralized digital currency that uses cryptography for secure transactions on a blockchain.
  • Block (noun): A unit of data containing transaction information, which is added to a blockchain.
  • Blockchain (noun): A decentralized digital ledger that securely records transaction data across many specialized computers on the network.
  • Collision (noun): The occurrence when two different inputs produce the same hash output.
  • Cryptographic Hash Function (noun): A hash function that uses cryptographic techniques to ensure data integrity and security.
  • Data Integrity (noun): The accuracy and consistency of data over its lifecycle.
  • Deterministic (adjective): Producing the same output from the same input every time.
  • Hash (noun): The fixed-size output generated from input data using a hash function.
  • Hash Function (noun): A mathematical formula that converts input data into a fixed-size output (hash).
  • Hash Rate (noun): The measure of computational power used in cryptocurrency mining.
  • Immutability (noun): The characteristic of being unchangeable once recorded.
  • Merkle Tree (noun): A data structure used in blockchain to efficiently verify the integrity of data.
  • Mining (noun): The process of performing complex calculations to validate transactions and add them to a blockchain.
  • One-way Function (noun): A function that is easy to compute in one direction but difficult to reverse.
  • Output Size (noun): The fixed size of the hash produced by a specific hash function.
  • Preimage (noun): The original input data that is hashed to produce a specific hash.
  • Resistance (noun): The difficulty of performing a certain action, such as reversing a hash function.
  • SHA-256 (noun): A cryptographic hash function that produces a 256-bit hash, used in Bitcoin.
  • Zero (noun): The leading character in a hash that meets the difficulty criteria in Bitcoin mining.

We Have Updated Our Terms And Conditions

We have updated our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Terms of Service page. To review the latest version, please click on Terms of Use. If at any time you choose not to accept these terms, please do not use this site.